20 April 2021

Building Sustainable Agri-Food Systems

Organised by:

SCI's Agri-Food Career Committee

Online webinar: 15:00 – 16.00 BST

Registration Closed

This event is no longer available for registration.


This is the second part of a series of 3 webinars. For related events, please scroll down to the bottom of this page.

Sustainability is a key focus globally and is particularly relevant in our time of climate change, growing populations, and the ongoing pandemic.

Within agri-food - one key question remains - how can we achieve a secure and nutritionally balanced food supply for all, whilst ensuring future generations can do the same? The production of sustainable agri-food should preserve the environment, human health, animal welfare and profitability. The development of low-input systems and new technologies throughout the supply chain offer hope for the future. 

This session will briefly explore how we can move towards a more sustainable future for agri-food, drawing on the experiences of our speakers who work in academia, industry, and policy/NGO/start-up.

This event will be of interest to people looking to hear more about the agri-food sector and potential career paths. The committee aims to support people at all stages of their career - whether these are individuals looking for their first role or experienced professionals looking to transition into the agri-food sector.

Dana MacGregor

Rothamsted Research

Dana is a Weed Molecular Biologist at Rothamsted Research. Her career asks how plants chose the right molecular responses that allow them, or their offspring, to survive the challenges of their environment. Dana is currently applying her molecular genetics training (B.S., PhD and two post-doctoral positions) to agricultural weeds. After a Knowledge Exchange Fellowship at Durham University, Dana established the MacGregor Lab in 2018 at Rothamsted Research, where we investigate how arable weeds (particularly black-grass) can thrive in the agri-environment, despite our best efforts to eradicate them. We use unbiased approaches to discover genes that underpin weediness and are establishing methods for hypothesis-led research to be done directly in non-model organisms like weeds.

Emily Norton

Savills plc

Emily is Head of Rural Research at Savills and a director of the Oxford Farming Conference for 2021-2023. She spends most of her working life interpreting rural, climate and sustainability policy and helping clients develop land based investment strategies in response. This includes the New Agriculture Act in England, and making the most of emerging Natural Capital opportunities across the country.

James Alden

Climate Edge

Co-founder and CCO of Climate Edge. Climate Edge is developing a series of digital tools to support organisations provide services to smallholder farmers in developing countries. Adopting a digital strategy is difficult in these markets, which is why Climate Edge is here to help. We make it easy to adopt tools such as SMS in day-to-day communication with smallholders using a user lead design approach.Over the years I have had the pleasure of working closely with many members of the Center of Environmental Policy at Imperial, in particular Senior Research Fellow Megan Quinlan and Professor John Mumford.

Kazi Jawoad Hossain


Kazi is a young AgTech development professional who has been leading a Global award-winning startup, GEOPOTATO. GEOPOTATO is an SMS and voice-based advisory service for farmers that uses satellite and weather data to send alerts and recommendations regarding possible late blight attacks. Besides work, he is very active in advocacy works for climate action and technology. Kazi is a Chevening Scholar at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) where he researching Commercialization on Agriculture Technology.


20 April 2021

Introduction from the Agri-Food Career Committee
Reuben Margerison, University of Manchester
Building Sustainable Agri-Food Systems
Cassie Sims, Lund University/ Max-Planck nGICE Centre
The need for digital transformation in smallholder agriculture
James Alden, Climate Edge
How to turn a Development Project into a startup: GEOPOTATO's experience
Kazi Jawoad Hossain, GEOPOTATO/ Institute of Development Studies
Bringing Agricultural Weeds into the Molecular Lab
Dana Macgregor, Rothamsted Research
Who am I to make a difference?
Emily Norton, Savills plc
Panel discussion

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Organising Committee
  • Alastair Gibbons, SCI / BBSRC
  • Cassie Sims, SCI / Lund University/ Max-Planck nGICE Centre
  • Luca Steel, SCI / Rothamsted Research Institute
  • Reuben Margerison, SCI / University of Manchester
  • Joe Oddy, SCI / Rothamsted Research Institute
  • Paul Rous, SCI / Rothamsted Research Institute/ Shake Climate Change, Cranfield University, Yara International
  • Juniper Kiss, SCI / University of Southampton

Conference Team

Tel: +44 (0)20 7598 1561

Email: conferences@soci.org